Skip to main content

About this Show


Series/Special. Brad Gregory discusses 'The Unintended Reformation: How a Religion's Revolution Secularized Society.' New. (Stereo)




San Francisco, CA, USA

Comcast Cable

Channel v109






Isi 15, Europe 7, Salvation 4, Charles Taylor 3, Brad Gregory 3, United States 3, America 3, North America 2, Unintended Reformation 2, New York 2, Us 2, Tessantism 1, Waysive Counterargue 1, Paolucci 1, John Noonan 1, Lang 1, Edward Gibbons 1, City 1, Italy Israel 1, Ann Belluci 1,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Discussion    Series/Special. Brad Gregory discusses 'The Unintended  
   Reformation: How a Religion's Revolution Secularized Society.'...  

    December 7, 2013
    8:45 - 9:56pm EST  

resented his look on the protestant reformation in western society and culture. professor agrees the recipient of the 2013 isi henry and anne paulucci book award. this is a little over one hour. >> all right, well, good evening and welcome. welcome to the 2013 isi henry and anne paulucci book award presentation. my name is mark henry and i'm senior vice president and chief academic officer at the intercollegiate studies institute, isi. for those of you who may be new to us isi is a national education organization founded in 1953 and philadelphia and headquartered since 1996 on centerville rd. in greenville. isi's mission is to educate for liberty, inspiring college
students to discover, embrace and advance the principles and virtues that make america free and prosperous. with the thousands of student and faculty members on virtually every college campus in the country, isi each year produces a class of young and energetic leaders who, thanks to isi programs and publications embark on their careers with a particularly deep understanding of and commitment to the american ideal of ordered liberty. isi and the conducts over 200 educational programs around the country including lectures, debates, conferences seminars and summer schools. isi also offers fellowships for aspiring college teachers. through our collegiate member we support dozens of newspapers. we also publish the quarterly journal and under our imprint isi books we have --
the general reader soft on penetrating conservative insights of recent decades. the isi henry and anne paulucci book award is named for two remarkable individuals who together constituted an extraordinary couple. henry paolucci was the university professor and prolific writer who possess a broad mastery of the history of political thought as well as a keen sense of the influence of the past upon present political and economic realities. a polymath scholar ballucci's interests range from mathematics and astronomy to literary theory and political philosophy from greek and roman antiquities to american history and christian doctrine. another of the staggering number of books he taught english literature i am a college roman history at city college in brooklyn college government and politics at st. johns university
and medieval culture at columbia university. he was also a key figure in any candidate for for the conservative party of new york. he passed away in 1991. henry's wife and intellectual partner of more than 50 years was ann belluci. she was an internationally acclaimed scholar and comparative literary studies as well as an award-winning playwright poet and fiction writer peered her most enduring critical were works on the playwrights edward albee and luigi -- in addition to leading the council and national literature for 30 years pre-she served on the national council or the humanities and is a trustee and chairman of the board of trustees at the city university of new york. she passed away in 2012. it was a ann who came to isi in early 2000's because she recognized isi is a conservative institution with an enduring commitment to culture.
she also recognize that isi is a faithful steward of all its undertaking. her final than affection both endows this book award in perpetuity and will allow isi to expand its programming in the area of national literature. the isi henry and anne paulucci award is $5000 presented by isi each year to deserving scholar whose intellectual achievement in the form of a look published in the previous year embodies the spirit range and scholarly rigor of the -- so our main event. brad gregory is professor of history and dorothy g. griffin collegiate chair at the university of notre dame where he was also recently named the director of the notre dame institute for advanced study. he has had a meteoric academic career. in 1996 to 2003 he taught at stanford university where he received early tenure in 2000
won't. before teaching at stanford he earned his ph.d. in history at princeton university and was a junior fellow in the harvard society. he also holds two degrees in philosophy both earned at the catholic university in belgium. he has delivered lectures of many the most prestigious universities in the united states as well as in england scotland ireland norway l. jim the netherlands italy israel and taiwan. he is also a standout teacher having received to teaching awards at stanford and three at notre dame. the end intended -- the "the uninteded reformation" is brad's most recent book. a very controversial book epochmaking strong claims however ironical. it is a very big book. though there are those that believe that it ought to have
been still longer in order to carry its argument. the book is in a certain sense history turned upside down. that is to say most of us carry around in our heads something of historical cartoon inherited her hats from edward gibbons among others in which the middle ages are seen as a time of darkness and stagnation. a turning point occurs 16th century after which there is a leap of human progress first in northwestern europe but at length everywhere across the globe. indeed the historical forces unleashed and now modern turn are such that progress becomes inevitable. history mounts ever higher and there are no genuine losses associated with the modern age. breds look contests this basically on two counts. on the one hand he observes that there are indeed losses as well as gains in modern progress and at some level everyone will have
especially conservatives knows this. on the other hand and this is what is intellectually exciting about the book he demonstrates there is very little inevitable about the contours of our contemporary world. in fact the road by which the past became the present is filled with contingencies, with things that did not have to turn out quite the way they did. alternatives are indeed imaginable. that is not to say that brad gregory is nostalgic. in fact, this concluding chapter is entitled against nostalgia. there he observes that quote judged on their own terms and with respect to the objectives of their own leading protagonists, medieval christendom failed. the reformation failed. confessional lies to europe failed and western modernity has failed. but each in different ways and
with different consequences. did i mention that the book was controversial? ladies and gentlemen, brad gregory. [applause] >> the thanks very much mark are the gracious introduction and tanks to all of you for being here and for coming this evening. you can tell from that last quote that mark offered that the look is a real up beat and encouraging diagnosis of the situation which we find ourselves. it's an extraordinary honor and a privilege to receive this year's henry and anne paulucci book award to be added to a list of award recipients that in the last five years alone includes polly mayor, philip hamburger and charles taylor is humbling to say the least. i'm grateful to the intercollegiate studies
institute for selecting my book from among many others that i'm sure were also worth and i would like to express my particular gratitude to mark henry for his standout hospitality. i will speak for probably about 30 minutes or so and be happy afterward to answer any questions that anyone might have needless to say a brief presentation like this one cannot hope to convey the fullness of the book that is nearly 600 pages long but i do hope it will give some of you who have not yet had a chance to read the book some sense of its principle aims in arguments and i should just say that the actual size of the book is somewhat smaller than the representation that you see so you need not worry about how you will carry it home with you should you decide to buy a copy. "the uninteded reformation" is a work of historical analysis that takes its presence as a point of departure. it does not aspire to be
comprehensive but the book does aim in the first instance to be as explanatory weight powerful as possible while making as few theoretical and methodological assumptions as necessary. assume as little as possible and try to explain as much as possible. secondarily the book addresses some major contemporary concerns based on this historical analysis. my remarks this evening are going to be mostly about the first ambition, the explanatory powerful aspect in near the end i will say a few things about the second speaking to contemporary concerns on the basis of that historical analysis. i endeavor in "the uninteded reformation" to answer basic a very big question. how did contemporary ideological and institutional realities in north america and europe come to be the way that they are? the book intends to characterize these realities matter-of-factly
in ideological terms, they include an open-ended range of secular and religious truth claims by individuals about matters pertaining to human meaning, morality, purpose and priorities including some religious truth claims articulated with great intellectual sophistication by theologians and philosophers of religion. insofar as the present is the product of the past, any adequate historical accounts must be able to pay attention to antics lang all of these claims. the modern liberal institutions variously characteristic of all contemporary western states permit this ideological heterogeneity through the legal and political protection of individual citizens to believe and live as they please so long as they obey the established laws.
so that is what needs to be accounted for. these institutions in the ideologicideologic al heterogeneity that they bring. the book's explanation of how the past became the present question says mark mentions many widely held assumptions. the reason is simple. typical narratives, common conceptions of change over time and ordinary historical methodologies cannot answer the book central question. they fail to do justice to the full range of moral and metaphysical commitment encompassed under the first-person plural, we. when it is used inclusively have all present-day europeans and the americans. who are we? we should not underestimate the importance of this question and the content of the answer. predominant large-scale historical narratives in which catholicism is thought to have been superceded by the protestant reformation which was in turn superceded by
enlightened modernity only to be superceded in turn by the postmodern present would seem to imply that now we are all secular skeptical fragmented selves that we are not. i am not and i suspect that many of you gathered here this evening are not either. this inaccurate generalization then does not describe even highly educated westerners because it fails to account for the wide variety also of secular moderate rationalist or contemporary religious believers. what needs to be explained then is not a nonexistent uniform secularism that doesn't exist but a heterogeneous pluralism of individuals who hold rival secular and religious truth claims that diversely influence their actions and then contribute collectively to public life.
complex questions of historical explanation confront anyone who seeks to know what people today believe, where their beliefs come from and what their beliefs are based on. this is not only because individuals change over time and are usually complicated hybrids. not only the beliefs but also their related assumptions arose through historical processes. the believe is are also embodied practitioners who enact behaviors within social relationships of political institutions all of which can and do change over time in complicated ways. no explanatory narrative could consider all of the relative evidence. ..
in order to answer the question of how the past became the present, we have to bracket some of the ways in which historians ordinarily proceed. we need a more promising method. one that could, in principle, if never in fact, integrate all the relevant findings of specialized historical scholarship, while simultaneously recognizing that not only this research but all knowledge-making depends on assumptions that are themselves
part of what requires explanation. this line of thought lies behind the unusual method and approach of the unintended reformation. in its attempt to explain how the past became the present, the book is both more analytical and more synthetic than most works of history. and it's more analytical first because it's deliberately selective use of reconstructive descriptions of past individuals, institutions and ideas, is subordinated to explanation and what is what relentlessly argument driven book. second it's highly an lit tall because the chapter structure is based on untangling different parts of life that are more easily grasped when considered one at a time. i'll say something more about each of the books' six chapters in a moment.
human beings act on certain desires rather than others. they believe some things and not others. they inhabit particular socioeconomic and political positions rather than others. and, yet, it is difficult, all at once, to see these things. and to pursue their changes overtime. hence, six chapters, each of which concentrates on a different concern. the "the unintended reformation" is more synthetic because each of its chapters contributes to the collective argument of the whole. no chapters are meant to stand alone, despite their diversity. the book seeks to show that intellectual, political, social, and economic history, cannot be neatly separated from one another, because human beings embedded within social and political relationships, enact desires in relationship to the
natural world, influenced by beliefs and ideas. and the book synthesizes specialized historical scholarship about the middle ages and the modern era in a manner consistent with its overall explanatory objectives. the specific and particular in the human path are incorporated, not by directly including enormous numbers of individual examples. rather, i synthesize and incorporate into the analytical narrative a considerable body of more specialized and conventional historical scholarship. now, answering the seemingly straightforward questions about how the past became the present, turns out also to place considerable demands on the reader. please do not let this deter you from buying and reading the book. i think it's quite clearly written. not an easy read but that's because the past is not easy to
understand. there are multiple reasons why it places demands on the reader. different dough mains of human life are analytically distinguished from one another and are also intertwined parts. this simultaneous distinguishing and relating covers a chronological span of more than half a millennium. why? because restricting ourselves to the modern era cannot explain how the past became the present. when required particular attention to the reformation era. the book, thus, transgresses common boundaries of historical periodization, and substantively the book incorporates in a highly come pressed way the relationship among signs, metta physics and conceptions of god, catholic, protestant claims about fundamental matters of
human mean egg, values and publishing. the public exercise of institutional power. moral theories and practices in relationship to political theories and institutions. human desires in regs so capital him and consumption and the character and institutional sites of knowledgemaking along the human intellectual inquire. i toss readers many balls and ask you to keep juggling. let me say a bit more about the chapters. chapter one. excluding god. explores some of the long-term consequences of what was initially a subtle rejection of the long-standing christian view of god's relationship to creation beginning in the late middle ages. this rejection tacitly and yet far from subtly, continues to dominate modern intellectual life. among to the most significant consequences have been the
pervasive modern spread of the view that increasingly powerful scientific explanations of natural regularities, what we call science, provide progressively compelling evidence against the claims of revealed religion as such. so the more science explains, it is thought, the less room there is for god. this view turns out to be the result of contingent and often unknowingly held metaphysical assumptions with immediate -- medieval roots the historical significance of these assumptions became unexpectedly important starting in the 17th 17th century because of the ways in which controversy in the reformation era unintentionally marginalized theological discourse about god in the natural word. that leaves scientific and fifth sol cal discower discough of
trying to talk about god. in chapter 2, the protestant reformation are analyzed as the two mores important and related means by which attempts were made to ground truth claims by those who rejected immediate evil christianant. thatthat's has unintended pleasurisms based on the bible and reason. impasses and the rear familiar -- reformation era helped -- but historically, and empirically. reason alone, has proved no more capable than scripture alone since luther, of providing a basis for reaching shared answers, to questions about what is true, how people should live,
or what they should care about. the long-term result is the open-ended, multiplication of truth claims about such issues. that proliferate within modern western states today, and that collectively contribute to what i call in the book, western hyper pleurallism. hyper pluralism. another phrase i use in the book, in the kingdom of whatever. chapter three, controlling the churches. shows how the reformation transformed the already growing late medieval oversight of ecloseasiccal institutions by nonecclesiastical authorities which eventually left a lasting legacy of the modern state's control of religion and the secularization via religious toleration. among those christians who rejected the roman church, only politically supported forms of
protestantism were able to have a wide lasting influence, alongside catholic regimes in the early modern period inconclusive conflicts in the reformation era prompted the political protection of religious freedom in exchange for religions' privatization. although states today control churches, no less, although very differently, than did confessional states in early modern europe. the subject of chapter four, subjectivizing morallate, is the transition from the -- to the formal ethics of rights. this transition came about through the disagreements and disdisruption of the christian goods because reflected disputes about the good and its implications for human life. modern moral and political
discourse transformed the traditional discourse on rights and left depression of the good up to individuals -- left determination of the good up to individuals but the extent to which modern moral and political communities continue to rely on substantive beliefs about the good derived from christianity. the growing abandonment of those beliefs has precip tated divisions among citizens today that put increasing pressure on the liberal democracies that enable those very divisions. one result is the notable ran core and incivility of our public discourse, not to mention our dysfunctional congress in recent years. whether or not we think this is accurately referred to as a culture war. chapter five, manufacturing the goods life. it's the only clever title among the six.
concentrates on consumption in conjunction with capitalism and technology from the middle ages through the renaissance, so the 17th century dutch republic and the industrial revolution. this forminged a ideology and related practices that dominate western modernity and increasingly through globalization, the world. given the destructive fruitlessness of conflicts in at the reformation era, catholics and president president tess pros stands decided to go shopping instead of continuing to fight about religion. that's what we're still doing in combination with the exercise of power by hegemonic liberal said states, sim bio sis of consumerism is today more than anything else the cultural glue that holds together the hyper pluralism. the final chapter, secularizing
knowledge, analyzes the relationship among different sorts of knowledge, together with the site of where new knowledge has been transmitted from the middle ages to the present. the confessionallization of universities in the reformation era, included a privileging of theology that insulated the logans from new knowledge. the pursuit of which often migrated outside of universities in early modern europe. persistent doctrinal disaagreements born of political protection rendered most theologians diversely unable to cope with 18th century innovations. in the following century, knowledgemaking was centralized and in research universities, beginning the germie germany, theology was marginalized and knowledge was increasingly secularized. this process was complete by the early 20th century, accept
among catholic universities which followed through. none of the chapters is meant to stand alone from the others. together they comprise a whole that endeavors to explain many features of the western world, as the unintended, long-term outcome, of diverse rejections as well as retentions and appropriations of -- to study the past and the influence on the presence and to shed new light on the character of some present problems and to question some of the basic assumptions that frame contemporary intellectual life, by understanding where the assumptions come from and what they're based on. the conclusionen did he evers to view the six chapters synoptic include and offers final
reflections. like the book as a whole, it hopes to make good on the words of john noonan, looking intently at the past can improve our present vision. not many readers are likely to be accustomed to thinking about the relationships among so maybe different areas of human life. disstilled in such a contented manner and analyzed over such a long period of time. while simultaneously being asked to rethink many seemingly settled cornerstones of modern intellectual life. the balls in the air. but this is what we must do, it seems to me, if we're to understand how the world in which north americans and europeans are living today came to be as it is. the unintended reformation is a demanding, intricate book because the human path is complex, just as human life is complex. human decisions and actions taken many centuries ago continue to influence the present in ways that often go
unrecognized but which the sort of genealogical historical analysis in the book can discern and trace. the book was written with care and it must be read with care in order to be understood. not least because the analysis of many historical realities is threaded through and distributed across multiple chapters instead of being treated in only one place. at the heart of the narrative is the reformation era, because it is unresolved doctrinal disagreements and concrete geo political disrunnings are the key to answering the book's central question. the ongoing consequences of those controversies and conflicts continue to ininfluence all western women and men today, regardless of anyone's particular commitments. the book is not an argument about any secularizing suspect of protestantism per se, rather
indirect. i say explicitly in the book that president tessantism did not enchained the world. more important were the disputessen between catholics cs and protestants. and their con conflicts. because late mid eve veil christianity was not religion in the modern sense, a discrete domain of life separate from economic exchange and so forth, but, rather, it was, as i say in the book, a far from home egenius yet institutionalized world view that, for good or ill, influenced and was ended to inform all domains of human life. because of that the rejects of the roman catholic church's
authority by protestant reformes affected nearly everything. this included transtransformations that were already underway, such as metta physics. the increasing control of ecclesiastical affairs by noneclose wyattas stick cal authorities, and a highly monetized economy. the book traces the processes by which conflict over true christianity prompted novel conceptions of religioning a separate and send rabil of life, and then analyzes the disimbetting from religion some science, modern moral and political theories, economic views and practices and higher education. an emphasis on doctrinal disagreement is not only wanter warranted but necessary to understand the era. the socially and politically
divisive disagreements about what was true, how one ought to live and what matters most in life that emerged within a clinton text in the early 1520s, have never gone away. instead, they have been transformed, they've been modified, they've been expanded, in terms of content and character, even as efforts have been made to contain some manage their unintended and enormous effects. the most important institutional facilitators of the process have been, and remain, modern liberal states. which solve the problems of early modern confessional coexistence. as i note in the introduction of the book the unintended reformation expands upon and develops conclusions that i reached at the end of my first book, salvation at stake,
christian martyr dom insuring case you want to read another book of mine after this one. it was already clear to me then that critical aspects of the era can be seen if modern christianity is studied comparatively, across confessional boundaries, incorporating state-pouter it protestantses, and catholics. it would be an exaggeration, wrote, in the conclusion of salvation at stake to say that unresolved religious disagreement caused the enlightenment, the early modern renaissance of skepticism. and the importance on modern thought is clear. the unintended reformation, then, seeks to delineate how this is so. by tracing trajectories from
doctrinal disagreements to our die very gents religious and secular truth claims. in salvation at stake i also gestured toward the institutional aspect of the analysis that i pursue in the unintended reformation. i wrote there, because the prospect for peace coexistence minnesota mark christians -- individuals would eventually have the right to believe and worship as they saw fit, or they might not choose to worship at all. or they might eventually campaign against religion as a source of intolerance throughout human history. all these activities would be protected by the modern state which permits virtually anything that it has rendered private and that it can control. my new book is directed not only against modern reductionist
their arrives religion applied to religious believers in the safely distant premodern past, as was salvation at stake, a book about 16th century christians willing to die for their views. this book also exposes the faith-based confessional character of contemporary secular ideologies. with their historical roots in modern responses to reformation era dock trinal controversies. no one likes having their most basic beliefs challenged, whether those beliefs are religious or secular. it's just that most academies whose beliefs are secular aren't used to it, whereas religious believers in the academy have to confront it all the time. besides its primary aim of seeking to explain how we have arrived historically where we are today, the unintended reformation uses historical analysis to highlight and to
speak to contemporary concerns. this is the second of the two points i mentioned at the outset. this is a practical corollary of the fact that the present is a product of the past. understanding the makings of the contemporary world, then, should give us insight into some of its problems. i should say they seem to me to be problems, and i think they do to many other people. these include issues as disparate as our intermable and apparently irresolvable moral disagreements and the social rancor and friction, and our lack of any substantive common good and the seemingly impossibility of device one, and the inability to articulate that humans are real if we assume metaphysical -- and the
conspicuous absence of attempts to understand how different types of knowledge might fit together, which masks the incompatibilities of different disciplines and contributes to incoherence of undergraduate university education. the unintended reformation argues that all these features of present-day western life and more, are unintended products of tangled historical trajectories that derive from the unresolved doctrinal controversies and the evandal institutional solution to the political conflicts of the 16th and 17th centuries. how one evaluates them, whether one finds in them cause for concern or celebration, is a matter separate from the persuasiveness of the historical analysis that purports to explain how we arrived at them. in other words, one could agree with the analytical narrative in the unintended reformation, but praise these features of present
day western life, exuberant multiculturalism. they seem to me troubling for reasons on which i expand in the book, notwithstanding numerous positive aspects of modernity, with which they coexist i also acknowledge. despite the ways in which some readers have misread the book, it's not a lament for an allegedly golden able of medieval christian dom that we lost, nor does it naively assume that because modernity has brought unquestionable gapes, everything is commendsable, we should ignore the problems it also created, some of which have only become clear in recent decades. the payoff of my book, i would hope, has multiple aspects. it reconceptualizes the reformation by historically reintegrating those protestants
who did not receive political support with those who did. the key to understanding the reformation is looking at the full range of interpretations of scripture, among those who rejected roman catholicism,ot just at lutherans or reformed protestants. by challenging conception -- conceptions of change, the book offers fresh insight to how we have reached the situation today in north america and europe and contributes to greater self-awareness. i hope that not only historians but also other scholars and scientists, as well as educated read efforts in general, will be inspired with the book to look beyond their respective areas of expertise and interests and indeed beyond interdisciplines. the difference between different kinds of knowledge generated in social sciences and humanity hope the book will convince colleagues that the exclusion of
intellectual research from universities is inconsistent with the open mindsness that should characterize the academy's supposed commitment to academy freedom and intellectual inquire without ideological restrictions. i am well aware also that entrenched and frequently unacknowledged prejudices are unlikely to make this likely. that many readers were and are bound not to like the unintended reformation goes without saying. and has been clear from some reviews of the book. it is far too unsettling and subversive to garner anything approaching unanimous mouse approval. what matters to me is whether those who liked the book understood it, and if so, whether they have per waysive counterargue. s to mount against it. and once again, it's enormously gratifying to be receiving this
year's pew -- paolucci award for my book. it shows there are some readers who get it. thank you. [applause] >> we have time for questions. >> given the number of students who are pursuing the study of the humanities, is the faculties in universities at high risk that universities will no longer support large humanity faculties and only rules the -- reduce the supply of information which is
so vitally needed? >> a big question and an important question about the sustainability, the future viability, and strength of the humanities in america's colleges and universities. the question i think is -- it's difficult one to answer in general terms simply because american higher education is so diverse and enormous compared to other countries. my sense is that i think that humanities, ate least for the foreseeable future, will be fine in elite colleges and universities. what i worry about much more are state universities that are more strapped and pressed for funding at state legislators try to contend with rising costs and other concerns. i also worry about he humanities particularly at less well-funded, less well-equipped
liberal arts colleges and so forth. i think the overwhelming pressures in our society toward economic production, increased efficiency, essentially the bottom line, means that the so-called stem disciplines, the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics, will continue to receive increasing funding in the future, and so it's not clear to me that -- for many of america's future university and college students they're necessarily going to have a very robust humanities education at their disposal, which is a huge problem. i sense that behind your question. the kinds of questions i'm talking about, how do we think about values, what kind of lives should we live? those questions can't be answered by science and engineering. those are ethical questions. you can't get that from how are we going to under sub atomic particles or the best way to increase the production of a certain manufactured good.
>> one of the other issues regarding humanities is not perhaps the number but it's also the kind of material and the knowledge base and the sort of approach of the humanities itself. >> i touched on that briefly near the end of my talk. at one dimension of it by talking about what seems to me a very wide-spread, often unacknowledged ideological restriction on academy freedom in many colleges and universities and it's not so much a kind of hard and fast prohibition as a sort of understood restriction that intellectually sophisticate religious perspectives are not welcome. that's a retrix -- restriction
on academic freedom. basically the only -- if you want to know the punchline, what do you recommend out of this. i could preempt that by saying i'm an historian, not a policymaker or prophet, and the only thing i say at the end, really is rankled my colleagues, i say the academy should be unsecularrized because the assumptions of the 19th 19th century that were made to exclude religion from academic discourse, i think, can be shown now to have been highly contingent, not a one for all sort office decisions made, and so for me that is the one area in which i have particularly pressed on...
different views about what is valuable in a human life, what kinds of morality of we to have, what kind of families -- what should families lived like. what sorts of sexual practices are acceptable, what should people devote their leisure time to? and should be organized our institutions and so forth. the range of views about that, seems to me, and by the late 21st century is much more than it was in the late 19th century when, at the time, even nietzsche at the time talked-about the exuberant wide range of different forms that we see when we look across not only western europe, but the world. interactions among people from different cultures and so forth, the increased travel from a it
increases that even more. in and of itself is not necessarily a problematic thing. depends upon the content of what those particular views and the actions that they embody lead to and depending upon how people exercise, the politically protected rights in order to believe and that the way that they want to, there might be not so many problems. there might be really serious problems. so hyper pluralism is meant as a kind of description, really, of the enormous variety and range of ways in which people answer what i call in the book was questions. how should we live, what should we care about, what are your priorities, what matters to you. does that help? okay. [inaudible conversations]
>> i think your question. academia has problems the strength. and i think that they have been useful, specifically the american enterprise institute. for they have lifted it from the the total viewpoint, and they have, largely, with this simple formula that is not faith based in does not do things. starting with charles murray and now we have pushed, i believe, the current president of for trucks, it comes down to this.
the essentials of the meaningful life our family, faith, what you do yourself as your involvement in civil society. you can look back. we have the empirical evidence. here again, the left, the empirical evidence the empirical evidence, yet, but i mean --
>> i agree with you. i think think tanks to offer an important supplementary, necessary voice in this course, public discourse, the united states degrees just to go along with the way you set it up, though, the difficulty as far as answering the question of how now shall we live is, of course, that there are also think tanks on the left to have their respective answers, right? they say it is those people on the right, the ideologues of a really the problem. yes, think tanks are part of the picture, but they also participate in the kind of and contribute to that sort of, at least in the united states, the ideologically divided and problematic character. even the question of family, family support, but there would be people on the left. why should that mean a heterosexual marriage between
months -- one man and one woman, why can't to include gay marriage, right? this is an oppressive -- you know the arguments. those kinds of -- i am not defending that. i am saying that in the structure that we have, we have political protection for people to argue for those things. and in the current situation, it led to a kind of tension, i think, a division and a real unwillingness to try to find ways forward. that is what concerns me. >> the intensity, contention i think is another up eternity to say, all right. that seven out. let's get up in public and, let's define the question. does that present, does that offer as an alternative. again, we, the right, have had
the evidence. we have compelling namesake. we are going to hurt a lot of feelings, but we have the evidence. >> you are an optimistic gentlemen. [laughter] i am less sanguine. >> professor gregory, i have not read your book yet. i look forward to doing so. but i am struck by your remark, which you said. the university. the it -- where does the threat
of that -- >> that is a great point. i actually think -- not in the book. i said it at some point somewhere. but i think the exclusion of religion from higher education of context, in fact, is a sort of reflection, a parallel to the institutional separation of church and state. that is, just as we have the distinction very front, very contested, some would say impossible to resolve in satisfactory ways among but insofar as we added is it juridical and legal reality that that is reflected in higher education by saying misses an academic institution. different political theories and so forth, as long as somebody can make their religious the best argument in the public's fear, a political forum, they ought not to be excluded from
doing that simply because of the argument of religion. to me the same logic is, well, you really ought to exclude secular arguments from the public's here then. i mean, secular commitments i not have not the logical. day archeological claims. they're claims about the unimportance organon existence toward the racket ability of their religious cause. so i don't see any difficulty with that whatsoever. i think it behooves those, to do so in such a way that they think , persuasive and compelling to others. i really bad idea. i think in terms of being persuasive, you know, jesus is my personal savior so therefore listen to my political, i don't think that will foster peer etf to know your audience is. but priority exclusion does not make sense to me.
>> i'm going to abuse the privilege of the chair. >> abuse away. >> my question is, you had said effectively you have to sorts of claims. i am hard time relating. why is that you have the polemic against that we are -- we, post-modern men are fragmenting. the years -- three years ago charles taylor was here. he basically said, we are these people for whom faces a choice to be in a window was not true for people on the best. so you had said, we are catholic protestant, secularist, whatever. on the other hand, you are also arguing that we are all inheritors of the reformation in some way. toby out on the diversity of who we are today with is the fact that we all are somehow --
>> right question. i did think it is possible to answer that. we are all effected by the consequences, long-term consequences of the reformation era love -- whether we like and not regardless of what we individually might affirm or how we live with in a hyper pluralism in so far, for example, as we all live within western liberal political restitution. everyone who lives in a western country lives in this kind of structure with the variations, the belgian, the u.s. is the case may be, we also all live within capitalist market economies that are part of an interconnected global market network regardless, even the people who live in the most intentional, i want to get off the grave, let's go have a commune in rural missouri -- they have to interact with those markets in some ways. in that sense we all are within those institutional structures regardless of the particular ways in which we are there a firm, down the firm, or have
various kinds of ways in which we enter commerce. but interestingly it was the ways in which charles taylor so, i think, -- and he is a great thinker, but to my mind it is a frustrating way of using the first person plural, we, and it was frustrating way of using that years ago actually planted the seed for my thinking about this. alex mcintyre is much better on this particular point. the kind of disagreement and original idea of -- actually of this explain more about the kinds of political and whether cultural equality is that we inhabit. lots of times when he says we cannot recognize myself. if i can recognize myself as we deny such a poll of dread.
[inaudible question] >> i was struck by a comment he said. there has not been much change in the state influence on religion. maybe from a concessional stage, my private. then also, these individual rights my question in terms of looking at this sense of society as it is more organic, we say the political, theological, the economic kind of more intertwined, what do you do with the fact that some of the very structures and institutions that use to make that possible now formally support to the individually -- individual right to, let's say, religious freedom. to that effect. were you go with that? >> well, i mean, if you are
asking specifically about the relationship of the catholic church to the right individuals support of religious freedom and individual rights to be invested in that way, the complicated question historically, but also conceptually, the short answer, i would say this, the way in which they think about individual rights and individual freedom is never divorced from a wider conception of the human person understood he logically, understood ultimately as having a tale that is not to be answered in this life. it is not the kind of balanced risk preferential, understanding of my will choose what is good for me. this is not john role that is being improved. it is an understanding of, this is in viability of the individual has created in the image and likeness of god, and it is wrong to coal or somebody
about fundamental matters of belief and conviction. that, according to the church, has to be understood in relationship to a broad conception of the person understood as a he logical rational being in community with the supernatural listening. that is a short answer, a good question, a complicated one. >> a two-part question. >> what i can just go have a glass of wine. >> would you say that one of the unintended consequences of the reformation is what we see manifest today in a world that is becoming a place where everything is gray and there are no absolutes of right or wrong. i have a conversation with someone a few months ago.
returned to them and said, you don't believe in absolutes. i can have a conversation with you actually, said to me, you argue just for the sake of arguing dividend you don't come to any resolution. would you say that is one of the consequences of what has happened here? >> yes. it is a great question. the short answer to this one is shorter than the one i just gave. the answer is yes. but in complicated ways. i mean, not -- what i try to do in the book is suggest that there are some very dramatic and deep consequences of things that happened a long time ago, but the ways in which they have turned out to the is not a simple, straight line. i will say this, though. maybe it is a little bit more positive than what you
suggested. in my experience almost everyone, even the people who plan not to believe in some absolute, when you press the net due. ask somebody, if you really get in a situation like that, as somebody if they think that under certain circumstances genocide is susceptible or selling 12 year-old girls in the sexual slavery or having children tortured in front of their parents. i have never met somebody like that. think it is. those people right. we all think. choosing things that i am hoping our and the other side of the line. but i think if you actually get in conversations with people about these issues, you ask them, we have to have the right kind of relationship. it's not like me now and carry on the street and sank in may, whether your absolutes. it would have to be someone yell the relationship with. most people do think that there are certain things that are really wrong, universally wrong.
>> schering me more and more. more and more people are embracing the idea -- the yen's justifies the means. that, i think, is one of the consequences. >> very pervasive. it is an instrumental way of thinking. think it is related to the talks arian, the economic mind is always thinking that pervades some much of the society. >> a lot of ideas have come to my mind, sharing these concepts of one of the things i had thought about for a long time, what is stopping individual citizens from putting together my niece and hiring professors to teach the children. right now the administration has its way, the less expensive
universities well not have the kind of education. how we will have these discussions of we have no logic and everyone -- but has that been done? have the big groups of people do see other and hiring good professors. >> take counseling to the next level. i mean, eventually. there might be people here who know the answer. i empirically don't know whether that has been -- there was a form of it done in early modern europe. hiring a tutor. you would actually have an in-house tutored. you know, humanities professors don't make as much as lawyers or doctors. it is a serious question.
i mean, i am very concerned about as an academic and intellectual i am very concerned about the -- i don't know what else to college really commend ignorance of the entire electorate. distressing extreme the lesson, propaganda listed below points to a series of pets depending upon whether you're on a writer of the left. you know, the world we have created for ourselves as an incredibly complicated world. it is not a world that you can simply reduced to a few slogans that began just going to, you know, bulldoze my way over the other side. but we don't have an electorate that is receptive to that. we don't have the public.
when he goes out there and as people the president of the united states over half the people don't know. it is indicative of a total disconnect, a total lack of awareness, and a shoulder shrugging attitude. who cares as long as i can hang in with my friends and as more farmers charged. it is a bit cynical, but i think you know what i mean. anyway, on that happy note. [applause] >> so we have to present to gregory. presented to brightening dreary, author. on this side. we also have remediation.
>> thank you so much. [applause] >> so we would like to invite you all to our reception following s. we have copies of the book on sale for $25 which is cheaper than you can get it all amazon. and he will also have professor gregory available to sign copies. >> only an additional $5. [laughter] >> thank you very much for coming in please joyous reception. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations]
>> you're watching book tv, nonfiction authors and books every weekend on c-span2. >> the name of the book, daggers want. the author you may not have heard of but might have seen his work, cal caliber who is the editorial cartoonist for the economist. how did you, but yeah idea of putting all your work into a book? >> this year celebrated my 35th year with the economist magazine. this, of course, would be a great opportunity to pull everything together. i did an unconventional way to my way that is becoming more and more available. i used take starter as a way to raise the money for the book. i raised a hundred thousand dollars and sold 1800 copies to 46 different countries and publish the book myself. in the spirit of having a great time traveling to countries selling it. >> of published.
>> it is. i have done so much before, one of the things bows of publishing is that you can make it exactly the way you want to read you can give it the paper quality you want, design it the way you want, choose the curtains you want and get your best friend to the editor. it was a great experience. >> on the cover, is this an original drawing just for the book? >> it is. but together all the characters, and i've probably done every major head of state and covered every major issue. and many of these people, of course, saw the curtains as well >> you can see george bush and margaret thatcher, barack obama. is this even in the mall of. >> the pen is mightier than this war to my say. >> inside are a couple of others. think big, mr. president. also something. where do you, but the